Learning to code is like walking in half way through a movie. You sit and listen trying to memorize names and get a hint of what they might be on about. But ultimately you don’t want to ask what’s going on because that guy is annoying, no one wants to be that guy. I actually liked to see how much of a movie I can understand out of context. The trick is to forget about the details and focus on what they do. You let the names wash over you and watch their actions. Then slowly the picture is formed. Piece by piece. Then once the movie finishes you ask for peoples opinions. They fill in the blanks and you look like a good listener when secretly you have no idea what the hell was going on.
So life off the trail has been hard. I have been attempting to write a book about my experiences (The process will take longer then walking the trail). Working a cafe job in the weekends and generally trying to figure out what this experience has been about.
I did however say I would keep myself open to whatever opportunities that come up. The thing that was important to me was that I could do more good for others seen as I was so well looked after on the trail. I figured I would be doing a DOC job, or fruit picking or doing something that would take advantage of my new found outdoors skills. But though a series of events I found myself in a 18 week coding bootcamp called Dev academy.
This bootcamp does not require computer skills (I really don’t have any, The first computer I had I was 25 and I sat on it in the first month) you just need the enthusiasm to learn. The first nine weeks I was given tasks to do from home, that was hard. A lot of information didn’t really sink in at all. The sharp contrast to life off the trail making sitting in front of a computer difficult and the stress of thinking I may have bitten off more then I can chew really got to me.
But I don’t give up, ever. No matter how much pain and suffering I have to go though. (It’s a gift?)
The class room environment was a different space all together. I worried that my personal quirkiness (You know making stone tools, hunter, gathering and general barefootedness) would be a problem in a office environment. But really I have felt nothing but welcome. There is hard work to done but there are also plenty of help to get there. The hungrier you are to learn the more you can get out of the space. But you have to do the pushing to get there.
The people side of programming is an important aspect to Dev academy. Computer programs are made by people, and used by people. Good code has to be understood like carefully written stories. Group projects are thought out in teams and paper versions of web sites are made to keep everyone on the same page. Piece by piece they are put together, testing and refactoring as you go. Until you are left with a working product. Though to be honest it seems there is always improvements to be made.
I am only in week four and taking on projects feels bit like climbing mountains. You are never sure if the peak you have in your sights is the top. The only thing you can do is put your head down and get to it. Sometimes I still weave and shape stones, but for the next 6 weeks (How long it I graduate) I have to hang up my rain cape and put my crazy determination into this new journey. Do I have what it takes to work a computer? I’m not sure. But at least the warmer weather is coming up so if I fail I can always go for a hunt or something.
his time last year I was on 90 mile beach digging for shell fish, fishing and shooting at quails. It is amazing how life can be so different year to year.